29 May 2009

Aryan Guard Exposé in "The Intelligence Report"

"The Intelligence Report" of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has written an exposé on Calgary's Aryan Guard in their Summer 2009 issue. We're happy to state that we played some small part in contributing to the research for the article. Others who contributed their time and knowledge include Jason Devine (spokesperson for the Calgary ARA), Edmonton Police Sgt. Stephen Camp (co-chair of the Alberta Hate Crime Committee), Valerie Pruegger, Constable Lynn MacDonald (hate crimes coordinator for the Calgary Police Service) and Cam Stewart (author OF a hate crimes report commissioned by the Alberta Hate and Bias Crime Incidents Committee).

Northern ExposureCanadian Hate Group Shocks Calgary
By Sonia Scherr

Since one can easily click on the link (and since the article will be archived by "The Intelligence Report" we will not reprint te entire article. However a few excerpts:

The Aryan Guard was founded in late 2006 with help from two disgraced ex-teachers who marched with the fringe group at the March 21 rally: Paul Fromm of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, who lost his teaching certificate because of his white supremacist activities, and National Socialist Party of Canada leader Terry Tremaine, a former part-time university lecturer who in 2007 was fined $4,000 by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal because of his racist and anti-Semitic Internet postings.

MacDonald said the Aryan Guard has also received ongoing support from Christian Waters, a leader of the Canadian branch of the Brotherhood of Klans Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Headquartered in Marion, Ohio, that group has emerged as the largest Klan organization in the United States.

The true danger posed by the Aryan Guard comes not from its public activities, but from its more clandestine ones. A man reached at the Aryan Guard's contact number refused to answer most questions during a brief interview, but repeated the group's opposition to violence.

Yet the group's history of criminal activity belies that assertion. According to the Calgary Police Service, the Aryan Guard has been linked to several assaults between late 2006 and mid-2008. The victims have included a homeless man, a gay community member, and a cab driver from North Africa, MacDonald said.

Writing about the latter incident on Stormfront on July 20, 2007, McKee — who'd been charged in connection with the attack, though he claimed a good friend was actually responsible — boasted about getting the case dismissed. "The reason being was that they couldn't make a positive ID because apparently everyone there was all dressed in combat boots with white laces [and] black flight jackets and all had shaved heads. So let this be a lesson to anyone who wonders why on earth all us skinheads dress so similarly. [T]his is another great reason. lol [laughing out loud]"

The incident that has received the most publicity involved an assault on a Japanese visitor in her mid-20s, Asako Okazaki, when she left a bar shortly after midnight in July 2008. A 17-year-old Aryan Guard member — who was convicted in March but has not been publicly identified because he was a juvenile — kicked the woman in the back of the head with steel-toed boots. According to court testimony, the attacker followed the woman out of the bar after making a disparaging remark about Asians. At the time of his arrest he was wearing boots with red laces — a skinhead symbol indicating he'd spilled blood for the movement.

The group's propensity for criminal activity is no surprise given that many members have histories of vandalism and assault. Two of the group's most prominent members, McKee and Dallas Price, faced assault and weapons charges in connection with a September 2006 confrontation in which one victim was hit with a wooden club and another was stabbed with a knife. Robert Reitmeier, also active in the group, was charged with attempted murder in connection with a November 2006 assault on a man who suffered skull and facial fractures. Member Bill Noble was convicted in 2008 of posting hate material on the Internet that primarily targeted non-whites, Jews and gays. A judge sentenced him to four months in jail and imposed limits on his computer use for three years, though Noble continues to post frequently on Stormfront.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been instrumental over the years in the effort to combat racism and bigotry in the United States. Some of their greatest achievments on the legal front have included the successful suits against the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance, the United Klans of America, Christian Knights of the KKK, Aryan Nations, Imperial Klans of America and many others which effectively destroyed each group.

Perhaps now, with the Aryan Guard as the focus of an international publication, the gear of justice will start to turn a little bit faster.

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